the procurement profession, things always move quickly. However, in the last year, the speed of change has accelerated. Throughout the evolution of the field, procurement leaders have emerged stronger than ever. Their secret? A passion for knowledge and a commitment to sharing it with their peers.
As procurement professionals take on more strategic roles within their businesses, the need for community grows. From practitioners to consultants, connecting with peers enables growth and inspires innovation. So, if that’s something that intrigues you, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog, I’ll provide my list of the top 13 procurement leaders to follow. Within each profile, you’ll find information about the leader, their procurement speciality and where you can find more of their advice and insights.
13 procurement leaders you should follow today
Based in London, England, Daniel Barnes is a seasoned contract management and procurement practitioner. Currently, he works for one of the fastest growing FinTech companies in the UK, leading their the contract management capability. In addition to his day-to-day role in procurement, Daniel also created World of Procurement, a content community for procurement, supply chain and contract management.
The content featured on World of Procurement is created to give you information that propels your organization forward. Specifically built for procurement practitioners, the site offers both in-depth, long form content and micro-content, that delivers valuable insights a just few seconds.
Daniel has also been recognized as one of the Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Procurement by Thinkers360.
One of our longest tenured procurement leaders, Michael Cadieux has an impressive 25 years of procurement and business expertise. Indeed, he is a self-proclaimed procurement industry fanatic and passionate community builder. Appropriately, he also happens to be the mind behind Procurement Foundry, a highly-engaged, practitioner-based procurement community.
Prior to creating Procurement Foundry, Michael spent 17 years at Publicis Groupe, an advertising and communications firm. There he was directly responsible for an astounding $2.4B of spend from more than 65 business units. During his time at Publicis Groupe, he experienced many of the common challenges facing procurement practitioners and developed creative and practical solutions to overcome them.
Less than 3-years old, Procurement Foundry now boasts more than 5,000 members in 63 countries and counting. It is also home to a series of conferences and webinars addressing both the direct and indirect sides of procurement. In addition, Procurement Foundry offers an abundance of resources, including two independent salary and compensation surveys.
“We’re a community and the community is there to help each other collaborate, grow, learn and share.” — Michael Cadieux on Voice of Supply Chain — ISM New Jersey
As an associate partner with IBM, Melissa has more than 27 years of procurement and supply chain experience. Her work sits at the intersection of digital transformation and cognitive technologies. Melissa works to empower organizations to adapt and evolve in a constantly shifting global landscape. Consequently, she regularly shares insights about digital transformation, data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, focusing on real-world applications and outcomes.
Internationally recognized as a Global Leader in Consulting, Melissa is also a founding member of Women Leaders in Data and Artificial Intelligence (WLDA), lending her voice in support of the next generation.
If procurement and supply chain make up the backbone of an organization, then data is the heart. Everything we do in a company will always come back to data: Where and how much data is collected? What does the data tell us? Is the confidence in the data at a threshold we can tolerate? How do I interpret the data? Or Is the data actionable?
Machine language and data science are becoming a larger part of the procurement and supply chain organizations, in sometimes very subtle but impactful ways. — Melissa Drew, AI Time Journal
Dr. Elouise Epstein
Primary area of expertise: Digital procurement
Where to find Dr. Epstein: LinkedIn
Dr. Elouise Epstein is a digital futurist and Kearney partner based in San Francisco. As such, she uses more than two decades of experience to advise clients on how to develop digital procurement and supply chain strategies.
Dr. Epstein is well known in the procurement community for her dry wit, historical anecdotes and direct delivery. Her signature style and unique insights are frequently featured at procurement events. In addition, she regularly contributes to a variety of industry podcasts and publications.
In addition, she has authored two books, Trade Wars, Pandemics, and Chaos: How Digital Procurement Enables Business Success in a Disordered World. Before that, she co-authored Disruptive Procurement–Winning in a digital world doing the right things in procurement with other procurement leaders.
“The job should not be considered done when a supplier is sourced and a contract put in place. That’s not how we designed our function, but it’s how we ended up running it. In order to bring true value creation, we need that end-to-end management where we not only source and implement but track and analyze in real time what may be happening outside the contract terms … Make no mistake, the leaders are executing the future today, so there is no time to waste and as I often say, the era of excuses is over!” Dr. Elouise Epstein — Interview with Fine Tune
If you’re looking for the latest industry trends and insights from experts, look no further than Philip Ideson’s Art of Procurement. As founder and managing director, he hosts a weekly podcast, leads a membership community and provides consultation services.
Prior to creating Art of Procurement, Philip led procurement transformation, category management, and sourcing programs for clients of Procurian and Accenture. In addition, he previously served as head of international procurement, sourcing and third party risk management at Ally Financial.
Anna McGovern is a supply chain and procurement evangelist who teaches value creation through an optimized supply chain and collaborative supplier partnerships. One look at her LinkedIn posts her passion is evident. Indeed, she frequently shares advice for developing vendor relationships, solving supply chain problems and prioritizing value over cost savings.
In addition to serving as the chief supply chain officer for the Food Bank For New York City, Anna is also the managing director of Pondview Consulting. In her consulting role, she develops, coaches and mentors procurement teams — working with professionals at all levels of experience.
James Meads has a unique perspective thanks to a 16-year career that took him around the globe. During that time, he held a corporate procurement role in the automotive and consumer goods sectors, taking him to the UK, Germany and Africa. Then, in 2019, James set out to start his own business that focuses on offering simple, easy-to-understand procurement solutions to solve complex problems.
You’ll find optimism, engagement and fun in posts from James. Indeed, part of his mission is to break away from the corporate procurement model, full of over-engineered processes, bureaucracy and resistance to change. As a procurement leader, he sets himself apart by focusing on enabling his clients with best-of-breed digital procurement technology (ProcureTech).
In addition, James hosts The Procuretech Podcast and is a co-founders of Proctopus, a UK-based procurement networking and events group.
Our next procurement leader, Karthik Rama, is called The Procurement Doctor for a reason. With more than 17 years of global experience, he has helped a wide variety of organizations pursue procurement transformation and mend broken processes. Karthik leverages his inquisitive nature and broad experience to bring together procurement and IT teams as they pursue digital transformation.
Lamont Robinson is the CEO and founder of Robinson LaRueCo Consulting, LLC (RLC) and has been a leader in supplier diversity for the past 15 years.
As the importance and impact of supplier diversity gains wider recognition and awareness, Lamont leads RLC and specializes in implementing supplier diversity programs and connecting diverse suppliers with procurement opportunities.
In addition to his achievements in supplier diversity, Lamont also authored his autobiography TransformNational: Journey of a Bastard which details his personal experiences in overcoming challenges on Chicago’s violent West Side to achieve success.
Sarah Scudder is the chief revenue officer of Real Sourcing Network (RSN). She is deeply passionate about sustainability and loves helping marketing and procurement professionals transform the way they buy packaging.
Sarah regularly speaks at industry events, serves on panels, hosts webinars and writes articles for Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) and Procurement Foundry.
Additionally, Sarah created ProcuRising, a magazine that uncovers the unique stories of doers in our sourcing community. As if that wasn’t enough, she also hosts a monthly procurement series called ProcuremenTalks and a LinkedIn Live show called Packaging Experts Tell All.
Jump in on the insights by following her hashtag #ScudderSays.
Ashleigh Turner is all about empowerment in all aspects of her professional and personal life. As a single mum, domestic violence survivor, award winning professional and procurement nerd (her words), she delivers inspiration and insights in equal parts.
Her achievements include:
- 2021 QLD young exceptional woman in resources winner.
- 2019 young professional of the year CIPS Australasia
- 2020 QLD top 10 young Australian of the year
When you think about the coolest procurement jobs, Jenti Vandertuig’s role as director, procurement for the five-time Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers may be at the top of the list. Among her peers and fellow procurement leaders, Jenti is known for her dedication to innovation and leadership.
As a digital transformation advocate, Jenti delivers advice that merges business fundamentals with emerging procurement technology.
“There’s always a conundrum of getting it done versus getting it done right. When the customer is king and procurement is always following the rules and not following the timeline, there’s a tug-of-war…We have to find a happy medium to engage the customer and entice them to understand what we have to face in order to run a public stadium and at the same time procure the goods and services so that they feel satisfied.” — Jenti Vandertuig on Upping the Ante Live Show
With a decade of experience fixing dirty procurement data, Susan Walsh is the Classification Guru. As the founder and managing director of a data classification, taxonomy customization and cleansing consultancy, she’s got an eye for detail.
Susan often shares her passion for data as a guest on industry podcasts and contributor to procurement publications. She’s a Tedx speaker and author of the upcoming book Between the Spreadsheets: Classifying and Fixing Dirty Data.
Who are your favorite procurement leaders?
As procurement professionals, we’re lucky to be a part of such an engaged and enthusiastic industry. Indeed, new procurement leaders emerge every day as we connect with one another and share our insights. If we missed your favorite voice in procurement, reach out and let us know.